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Boston Train Wreck Injures 200 Passengers

May 07, 1986|United Press International

BOSTON — A five-car commuter train rammed a parked freight train in dense fog at the peak of morning rush hour today, sending bodies flying through the cars and injuring 200 people, officials and witnesses said.

Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Mochen said about 200 of the 550 passengers on the train were injured. Most of the injuries appeared to be cuts and bruises, but about 50 people were taken to hospitals on stretchers.

The crash occurred at 8:40 a.m. as the Boston & Maine commuter train, with four passenger cars, was being pushed through Boston's Brighton section by its engine. People flew forward when the train rammed a stopped Conrail freight train on the same track.

"Everyone went dead forward and down," said Andrew Lane, 51, of Newtonville, who suffered a gash over his right eye.

The accident occurred in a yard area, not in a train station.

Many Standing in Aisles

"It was fairly slow going through that area," Bob Devon, spokesman for the Metropolitan Boston Transportation Authority, said. "I've got first reports of between 10 and 12 miles an hour."

The B&M commuter train, under contract to the Transit Authority, originated in the western suburb of Framingham at 8 a.m. and was bound for Boston's South Station.

The four passenger cars were packed with commuters, many of them standing in aisles, witnesses said.

"All of a sudden it was like we hit a brick wall, and glass and shoes and bodies were flying all over the place," one passenger said. "There was no warning whatsoever."

Transportation Authority spokesman Timothy Gens would not comment on the cause of the accident and said it is under investigation. He said the Conrail freight had the right of way on the track, which is controlled by a Conrail tower about a mile east of the site.

The freight train was carrying piggybacked tractor-trailers.

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